Government Announces Investments for People With Autism

first_img Nova Scotia developed its plan with the advice of the Autism Management Advisory Team Report on Lifespan Needs for Persons with Autism Spectrum Disorder. “I want to thank the advisory teams for their excellent work in developing their report,” said Maureen MacDonald, Minister of Health and Wellness. “I look forward to working with all autism stakeholders as we come together to provide individuals with autism with the best chance for success now, and in the future.” During the event, Emergency Management Minister Ross Landry also announced federal funding of about 270-thousand dollars to help introduce a new radio frequency tracking system for those with Autism and other diseases such as Alzheimer’s. For more infomation, go to . To view government’s Autism Spectrum Disorder Action Plan visit . Maintaining the provision of autism specialists at the Department of Education and in school boards so children have the support they need in the classroom Provide additional funding to early intervention programs so more benefit Review and implement revised income guidelines for the Direct Family Support for Children program so more families have more access to things like medication, transportation and respite when a break is needed. Nova Scotians living with autism and their families will now haveaccess to enhanced programs and services that will provide them with the best possible treatment, support and care. Premier Darrell Dexter today, April 12, announced details of the province’s Autism Spectrum Disorder Action Plan. This plan is one of the most comprehensive action plans in the province’s history dedicated to enhancing services for people and families living with autism. The plan represents $5.5 million in new investments, including $4 million over two years to fully fund the Early Intensive Behaviourial Intervention (EIBI) program. “We know that programs like EIBI make a difference, and providing this to every child who needs it is the right decision for Nova Scotia families,” said Premier Dexter. “Our plan focuses on programs and services that will make a lifetime of difference for children, adults and families living with autism so they have the support that will make a difference now, and for the rest of their lives.” Early Intensive Behaviourial Intervention works to improve functional skills including communications, social skills and behaviour, so children with autism can better communicate and interact with their families, classmates and community. Currently only 50 per cent of children who need EIBI receive it, and children are selected by a random draw. Soon, every pre-school child with autism will have access to the program. The Department of Health and Wellness is working with district health authorities, the IWK Health Centre and Nova Scotia Hearing and Speech Centres as they recruit and train the additional specialized staff needed to offer the program and address needs. Once existing teams are expanded, more children will be seen, and gradually, all children will have this opportunity. “The EIBI program has helped my son gain the communication skills he needs to do well in school and into the future,” said Stacey Turner, mother of a child with autism who has benefitted from EIBI. “He has even been invited to a few birthday parties, and is developing friendships, and that is really exciting for all of us. Without EIBI he would not be doing nearly as well as he is.” The plan focuses on five main themes including intervention services for families with pre-school children, supports for school-aged children, supports for adults, training to raise skills and awareness, and partnerships to support programming and services. Additional key investments outlined in the action plan include:last_img read more